How Cross-Examination Works During a Divorce Trial

How Cross-Examination Works During a Divorce Trial

Cross-examination happens during a divorce trial when the family court needs to find out more information from both sides. By comparing information from both sides, the court can uncover previously hidden contradictions and lies. In some cases, a cross-examination may hurt you, but in other cases, a cross-examination might help you. Knowing how a cross-examination works and what to expect can help you better prepare for this stage of the divorce trial. Working with an experienced Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer can also help you prepare for cross-examination.

What to Expect with Cross-Examination

Cross-examination usually happens after a witness has been questioned by the lawyer for the plaintiff or petitioner. This process starts with the lawyer for the defendant or respondent starts questioning that same witness. The witness could be a family member, friend, you, or your spouse. Unlike other forms of examination, cross-examination allows lawyers to ask leading questions.

Leading questions can be tricky and intimidating if you are at the end of them. These types of questions are designed to evoke the answer from the witness the lawyer is looking for. It can be difficult to anticipate or answer questions like this because of their tricky nature. A lawyer can also question the witness’s ability to remember certain information or identify certain evidence. This tactic is used to decrease the credibility of the evidence. Witness credibility can also be hindered by questions about the witness’s criminal history.

How a Family Lawyer Can Help with Cross-Examination

Going in blind can run the risk of giving the wrong answer that could be used against you during the trial. This could hurt your preferred outcomes for child custody, child support, alimony, or a division of property. If you choose to work with a family lawyer, then your lawyer can help you prepare for these types of questions. A lawyer can explain how leading How Cross-Examination Works During a Divorce Trialquestions work, help you practice answering leading questions, and run through possible answers you can give.

A lawyer will know how certain leading questions are designed to point out inconsistencies and catch a witness in a lie or contradiction. Other leading questions will aim to find any underlying motivation or bias like asking about certain factors that could bias the witness in favor of the defendant or plaintiff. The third category of leading questions targets witnesses dishonesty. 

Witness dishonesty is uncovered by questions about the witness’s past criminal history. For example, past charges of fraud or other crimes related to lying can be used to significantly decrease that witness’s credibility during the divorce trial. This could potentially affect the outcomes of the case and could render this witness unusable for the trial. 

Divorce Attorney in Oklahoma

Going through a divorce trial cross-examination, discovery process, and other trial processes can be intimidating for many people. Try talking with an Oklahoma Family Attorney if you have any questions about the divorce trial. You can contact the Putnam Law Office at (405)-849-9149 for a consultation today. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who is dedicated to his clients.

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